Posts tagged ‘Monks are the best’

April 8, 2014

“They made me a monk and called me Ignatios…”

This week I’ve started work on the microfilms from the Istanbul Patriarchate Library which were made during the Dumbarton Oaks-Andry expedition in the early 1960’s. The Patriarchate Library seems to have a prodigious collection of manuscripts containing works of John Chrysostom. It was at the beginning of one of these (Istanbul, Patriarchate Library, Panagia Kamariotissa, ms. 5, a tenth-century copy of some of Chrysostom’s exegetical texts on the New Testament) that I found a delightful illustrated note left by a monk called Ignatios from the early 17th century.



I am transcribing Ignatios’ note as diplomatically as I can because his Greek is very charming:

ἐν μηνή μαρτηω ἐν έτη ͵ζρκ

ἐγυρτα ὴς τω μοναστηρη

εγό ω γιοανάκης

κ(αὶ) με ἐκαμα καλώγερο

καὶ ωνομάσαση με

+ ιγνατήον μοναχόν+


In the month of March, in the year 1619,

I stood at the monastery

I, Ioannakis

and they made me a kalogeros

and called me Ignatios the monk.

The best thing about Ignatios’ note is probably the accompanying portrait in which a bearded man (a monk, likely) stretches out his left hand at the text. As Sarah pointed out, the hand also serves as a manicule. Ignatios (or perhaps someone else) did two little test drawings of a face and a hand. I think it’s not unfair to say that the faces turned out a little better than the hands. 🙂

See also Kouroupou and Géhin’s catalogue, vol. 1, pp. 73-4, for their very thorough entry on this ms.

My thanks to Elena, Deb and Sarah for their help.